First impressions with the Deeper Pro +
There are always folk who will say that the use of various electronic aids detract from the nature and experience of fishing. The same could be said for the many developments and ingenious items of tackle that have contributed to modern carp fishing over the past 20-30 years. Just imagine where we would be without them!
All these tackle items are of little use unless we know where the fish are to be found and the best spot to place our baits. It can take a delicate feel and experience for ‘leading’ around to determine the nature of the lake or river bed while the use of a marker float to map out a swim or lake can take considerable time & effort especially on larger bodies of water. So a device that can do both should make things easier – right?
The clever folk at Deeper have managed to miniaturize the electronics for depth measurement and GPS positioning into a neat & easy to cast package weighing only 3.2 oz. This when combined with real time satellite mapping allows the angler the opportunity to map out swims quickly and easily.
After opening the package I found the instructions easy to follow and after downloading the Deeper App soon had my Deeper Pro + connected to my IPhone 5SE. As with any Wi-Fi set up the range that can be achieved will depend on any number of variables. Elevating your phone as high as possible will help maximize the range and switching to Aircraft mode and then switching on the Wi-Fi will also improve signal strength.
The App allows you to select a choice of Sonar Modes but for mapping select the Onshore GPS Mode. The screen then splits to show a Google map on one side and a sonar map on the other. It is then a matter of casting the Deeper unit out and slowly retrieving to build up a detailed map of your swim. The data can then be uploaded and retrieved on-line for more detailed analysis or simply scrolled through on your phone.
Once the map has been uploaded you can access your Deeper map account on-line to review it in either map or satellite view mode.
The sonar screen helps distinguish between hard and soft bottom structure as well as weed growth. There is also a ‘fish’ marker option that can help with location.
So how does it work in practice?
First of all I set off to map a small local pond of about 1/2 acre in size. Casting the 3.5 oz Deeper Pro + device was easily achieved on a 2.75 test curve 12′ carp rod and it took less than half and hour to map the whole pond.
I then set out for another water that I planned to fish. Once again it was a simple matter to pick up the wifi signal being broadcast by my Deeper Pro + and then set the App to record data in GPS mode. After casting and retrieving the Deeper unit around the swim and looking at the sonar image it didn’t take long to see a few areas of interest. Once the data is recorded it can be accessed bank side or better still uploaded to the secure Deeper Map ‘Library’ site and accessed (using your individual & secure account) in combination with online maps or satellite overlay. The latter provides a bathymetric type map that is easy to read. I did notice that my recorded data seemed noticeably ‘smaller’ in area than the displayed map but overall it provided good correlation.
As with any sounder interpreting the data presented on the screen is critical. Key aspects such as the nature of the bottom (silt, gravel, leaves etc), weed density, contours etc requires some interpretation but with a little practice you’ll soon build up a detailed picture of your swim. I already had a general idea of where I wanted to position my baits and the Deeper Pro + helped me find a clear area next to some dense weed. As you will see the narrowing down of this precise location would prove to have a very happy outcome!
So how did the fishing work out? I learned from the sonar maps that there were a couple of areas in the swim that might be ideal places to position a bait. The bottom in some shallower areas had a thick covering of blanket weed and nearby depths to 6′ were some taller weeds that grew to withing a foot or so of the surface. As the depth of the silt increased (shown by the thicker bright orange layer) the tall weed growth decreased and allowed a pop-up to be positioned perfectly. After a few days baiting up with Spotted Fin Catalyst baits it was soon time to see if it would all come together as planned.
After setting up in the swim just after 2:30pm I made my first casts at 3:00pm, hooked up the bobbins and sat back to enjoy the warm afternoon sun. I did not expect any action until nearer 5 or even 6pm but at a little before 3:30pm the right hand rod rattled off. There was no screaming run but this fish set off steadily for about 50 yds before I could slow its progress. It began picking up strands of weed along the way and as I slowly gained line was forced to try and remove it as it threatened to jam the tip ring. After a solid battle & some nervous moments a large fish finally slid into the net. As I looked more closely it was clear that this was indeed a very large fish and after checking the scales a couple of times settled on a weight of 39.04. I was stunned and elated. After some photos and watching this exceptional fish swim off I recast and settled back behind the rods.
The remainder of the session proved to be nothing less than sensational. A 27.08, 21 & low teen followed finally capped of by another beast that capped off an incredible 5 hours of fishing at 35.04.
My observations using an iPhone 5SE suggest that the typical working range is about 50 – 60 yds. This range also depends on how high the phone or other device can be held relative to the Deeper unit (so standing on top a bank instead of at water level will increase the range significantly). I had my iPhone attached to the rod above the reel which proved a little awkward but workable. I plan on using a tripod or tall bank stick to raise the device to eye level which might help the range and ease of use. An iPad or similar device with better wifi reception than a phone may well provide longer range up to the claimed 100 yd range. Overall I’m very impressed with the ease of use of the Deeper Pro + and it is now a key part of my gear for mapping swims and narrowing down those carpy looking hot spots!